Minister for Defence and Clare Fianna Fail T.D., Mr. Tony Killeen has welcomed the launch by the Department of Agriculture of the 2011 Grant Aid Scheme for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector.
The closing date for receipt of applications to the fourth round of the Scheme is Friday 18th February 2011 and only investments commenced after the issue of letters of approval will be eligible for aid.
This aid, which is set at 40% (50% in the case of young farmers) of total eligible capital investment, will fund projects in commercial horticulture undertaken during 2011. The scheme covers all horticultural sectors – protected crops, nursery crops, field vegetables, soft fruit, apples, beekeeping and, mushrooms.
Minister Killeen explained that the scheme is aimed at assisting growers to efficiently produce high quality products to meet the increasing demands of a very competitive market.
“It will also contribute to increasing Irish fruit and vegetable consumption towards the recommended target of 5-a-day as part of a healthy diet”, he said.
The Minister continued: “There remains a continual need for the industry to adapt its production methods, both to minimise environmental effects and to benefit from adopting newer technologies. This scheme includes provision for increasing the uptake of green technologies, including water recycling, generating energy from waste and innovations based on plant production”.
Meanwhile, Minister Killeen has welcomed the launch by Bord Bia of their annual Performance and Prospects Report, indicating an 11 per cent increase, to €7.88 billion, in the value of Irish food and drink exports in 2010.
“I warmly welcome the strong performance of Irish food and drink exports in 2010 and the encouraging prospects for food, drink and horticulture in 2011. I am confident that the food, drink and horticulture sector will continue to perform strongly in 2011 with increased demand for dairy products, the maintenance in beef export values and good prospects for beverages, seafood and horticulture”, he concluded.
Details of the 2011 Grant Aid Scheme for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector and application forms can be obtained from Crop Policy, Production and Safety Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Administration Building, Backweston Campus, Young’s Cross, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, (01) 5058801/5058797 or at www.agriculture.gov.ie.
Notes to Editor:
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 00353868534900 or email@example.com
- High-resolution images of Minister Killeen are available on www.dunphypr.com